March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among cancers that affect both men and women in the United States. One in 23 men and one in 25 women will be diagnosed.
Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. If you have symptoms, they may include blood in or on the stool, abdominal pain that doesn’t go away or losing weight and you don’t know why.
Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. If you’re 50 to 75 years old, you should get screened regularly. Younger patients who are at high risk for should consult their doctor about when they should be screened. In addition to age, lifestyle risk factors include
- Low fiber consumption
- Heavy alcohol use
- Diet high in red meat
Additional factors associated with high risk include:
- Family history,
- Type 2 diabetes
- Inflammatory bowel disorders
Oasis Medical Group offers Fecal Occult tests for colorectal cancer screening. Contact us or make an appointment today to learn more.
There are lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of polyps and colorectal cancer.
- Quit Smoking
- Increase physical activity and exercise
- Maintain healthy body weight
- Reduce consumption of red meat
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Eat more fiber
- Include garlic in your diet
- Drink more milk and add foods with calcium